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Vinderudtalelse fra bedømmelsesudvalget

Based on an impressive selection of 11 master theses, the committee awards's prize for Best Master Thesis to two master theses: one written by Tsvetomira Milkova Ilieva and one by Yue (Stephanie) Xi. Both theses are excellent in their particular approach to human-computer interaction; the motivations for awarding them the prize are detailed below.

Managing Privacy, Security and Sharing Settings through a Statement based Interface
by Tsvetomira Milkova Ilieva.
MSc., Informatics and Mathematical Modelling, Technical University of Denmark.
Supervised by Associate Professor Nette Schultz. Grade: 12

The thesis presents a statement-based interface for managing multiple (mobile) personal profiles developed through an iterative, user-centred design process, involving development of low-fidelity paper-based prototypes and a hi-fidelity electronic prototype, as well as evaluations of the prototypes. Ethical and social issues related to using the designed application are also investigated.

The thesis is impressive in its coverage of relevant literature, in the extent and thoroughness of the empirical work, and in its convincing documentation and clear presentation of the resulting findings. The literature is clearly presented and includes both technical and - though to a somewhat lesser extent - social aspects. In spite of the large amounts of literature covered, the theoretical and empirical parts of the thesis are well integrated, and concepts and techniques from the literature are used throughout the empirical part. The empirical work involves requirements-elicitation interviews with 15 persons, a requirements workshop with five persons, design of a paper prototype, which is then evaluated with five persons, and design of a Flash prototype, which is then evaluated with ten persons. Apart from the extent, the thoroughness of the empirical work is seen in details such as mounting the screen shots of the paper prototype on the screen of the physical target device to give test participants more of a feel of the full system. The empirical techniques that are brought to use are well mastered and experiences from using them are reflected upon.

In sum, the thesis pursues a design idea through several rounds of literature review, requirements elicitation, prototype design, and evaluation, each step in itself well performed and feeding into the following step. Indeed, a price-worthy piece of work.

Design for Worker's Redesign: Improving Efficiency in Distribution Practice
by Yue (Stephanie) Xi
M.Sc. in IT Product Design, Mads Clausen Instituttet, SDU.
Supervised by Professor Jacob Buur. Grade 13.

The thesis presents the development and evaluation of an intelligent trolley aimed at supporting storage and shipping at Dangaard Telecom warehouse, an enterprise distributing cell phones and related items, established in 14 countries with a total of 950 employees. A mixture of approaches are pursued, including user studies, workshops, and prototyping, as well as a mixture of foci of the analysis, spanning organizational structures, worker-centred work design, and physical work conditions.

Yue Xi shows what it takes for designers to create something useful, pleasant and effective, a form, which fits and enriches the use-situation. The socio-cultural studies' theory and method is put to work on redesign, and deliver concepts and ideas for an artifact, a re-designed practice, a workspace, and a work organization. In order to explore ways to improve efficiency at her case-site, she has conducted field visits, workshops and user test in the form of action research - an approach, which nicely complements an engineering approach. Action research means that the designer works on users' terms, in users' interest, having their transformation of their practice as the primary goal. Through design anthropology, Yue Xi establishes the working value of the existing practice to be 'getting it right the first time' and 'working towards a shared goal'. By introducing RFID-technology instead of barcodes and by designing intelligent trolleys to facilitate packaging, she builds on what is there already, yet opens for a more flexible and more competent way of working. Yue Xi presents a vision comprising work process, infrastructure and artifact, tried out and modified by users on site.

In sum, the lesson for design theory is that it is possible to access - with von Hippels expression - the 'sticky information' of the use context by shadowing and extracting particular problem solving moments. The thesis work is well presented with superb use of graphics, easy to read, yet deep and thoughtful. Awards Committee 2008

The winner projects were selected from 11 nominated projects (descriptions are available in danish) by

  • Kasper Hornbæk (committee chair, Copenhagen University)
  • Ellen Christiansen (Aalborg University)
  • Morten Hertzum (Roskilde University Center)
  • Hans Roed Mark (Microsoft)

Indstillede projekter